Flora and the Peacocks
Written & Illustrated by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books 5/01/2016
40 pages Ages 3—5
“Birds of a feather don’t always dance together.
“The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push-and-pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step?
“In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance together.” [inside jacket]
Flora is back, ready to dance with two new friends. Having danced with a flamingo and a penguin, Flora dances anew with a duo of fully flocked partners: two colorful peacocks with stubborn personalities. Wearing an outfit matching the teal and green peacocks, Flora enters spread-left, alone. The peacocks enter spread-right. Flora bows. The peacocks look questioningly at her until one peacock crosses over the gutter reaching Flora. Scorned, the other peacock turns away. The dancing begins.
Ever the good friend, Flora reaches out to the second bird, much to the first’s disdain. With one foot on each side of the spread, Flora turns from one bird to the other—back-and-forth, back-and-forth—raising the feathers of the non-dancing bird. How often does this dance step continue? For as long as you, the reader, flip those flaps, sending Flora to one bird or the other. Soon, a tussle ensures. Flora’s beautiful Japanese fan tears in two. In a justified huff, Flora walks away. Will the peacocks be able to settle this quarrel? Can this stubborn duo find a way back to their partner and their dance?
Molly Idle does not disappoint in this new Flora dance number. Children will enjoy making this trio come alive as they control the spread’s flap. The illustrations sing, making brilliant use of white space. One can imagine the sweeping movements of each dancer as they glide around the stage. Each book, rather, each dance in this series takes on a distinctive color palette. Flora and the Flamingo an appropriate pink. Flora and the Penguins, an icy-cold blue, and now Flora and the Peacocks, the spring greens of a new year.
As a series, Flora dancing will melt the heart of nearly every little girl dreaming of becoming a ballerina. Lovingly constructed, Idle out does herself with each new edition. Words have no place in this beautiful dance, which can speak volumes on its own. Her characters convey vast emotions with a simple turn of the eye or uplifting of a chin. No words touch the pages of this dance. The illustrations effectively tell the story of Flora meeting two peacocks, the development of their friendship, and the eventual breakdown. Deftly, the peacocks and Flora repair their tiff. In the end, a super spread brings this dance to a satisfying, eye-swallowing, 18” by 33” conclusion.
It is at this point children will ask to read Flora and the Peacocks one more time—after a fresh read of Flora and the Flamingo (reviewed here), and Flora and the Penguin (reviewed here). Young ballerinas, after a bedtime read of Flora and the Peacocks, will dream sweet ballerina dreams, and then wake up ready to dance the day away.
FLORA AND THE PEACOCKS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 by Molly Idle. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
Find Flora and the Peacocks on Goodreads HERE.
Molly Idle: http://idleillustration.com/
Follow on Twitter @MollyIdle
2014 Caldecott Honor Book (Flora and the Flamingos)
FLORA AND THE PEACOCKS. Illustrations © 2016 by Molly Idle. Used by permission of Chronicle Books.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle, and received from Chronicle Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”